noWax was an idea along with our A4art concept that we came up with at Sense Worldwide as a means to collaborate and socialise with the then small professional network we’d built up in London. noWax nights were a way of letting off steam with a group of friends using the exciting new technologies that were becoming ubiquitous at the time. The 1st generation iPod was launched in the UK at the end of 2001 and following its release was bought by many of the early adopters on the Sense Network.
noWax took its first steps on 3rd July 2003 in dreambagsjaguarshoes in London, and despite no press or promotion people began to take interest and get involved. The reason for the interest was simple; noWax was about the people. Anyone could participate. It was a music night where there was no big name DJ, no pomp and circumstance, just people playing music that they liked.
The premise was simple: Anyone who had an MP3 player could DJ. Each MP3J played three tracks alternatively with another MP3J on the other side of the mixer. This democratic style lead to a huge range of music being showcased on the night and every noWax party had a different feel. It was truly the first collaborative MP3 night at the time, the only other MP3 DJ night being put on by two guys called Andrew and Andrew in New York who just DJed themselves.
Following its success in London we decided to give the night away as a sort of physical open source model. It was the perfect way to spread the word of Sense Worldwide and recruit more early adopters to the network. We set up a website and invited anyone who wanted to throw a noWax style party to sign up. All they had to do was book a venue in their local town and we’d send them the instructions, slides, digital artwork for promotion. If they want to add their own ideas on top of the basic format, then great. As long as they shared their experiences of the night and photos for the site for all to see.
From those humble beginnings noWax had countless outings in the UK including a guest appearance at Cream in Liverpool and a residency in the 333 in Shoreditch as well as in many countries around the world including Japan, France, the US, Singapore, Austria, Holland and Australia. We received loads of press featuring in The Guardian, The Washington Post and the Independent. You can see many of the photos from the early night in our Flickr set.
We stopped doing noWax nights back in 2007 but for a while people still carried the torch and had their own get togethers around the world. We learnt a lot from noWax. We took the collaborative approach of our early non commercial projects like noWax and A4art and we weave them into today’s commercial projects as much as we can. Recently we conducted a research ‘road trip’ for Samsung and now we’re working on a project to find the most interesting leading edge people around the globe for a drinks manufacturer (can’t say who yet.) If you’d like to join the network and get involved in projects like these hop over to the Sense Network. See you there.